DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Thursday's seven-game main slate doesn't have much of a pitching mid-range, which may force DFS players to roster arms at both ends of the spectrum. On the offensive side, we have a few mediocre arms in offense-friendly ballparks, giving us a few stack options to choose from.

Pitching Overview

One could be forgiven for thinking Justin Verlander ($12,600) is matchup proof, as he has logged under 20 DraftKings points just once in his last 10 starts. He has notched over 30 points a whopping seven times over that span. It must be noted that Verlander has had trouble keeping the ball in the yard this year (1.5 HR/9) and the A's are a top-10 offense against right-handed pitchers according to ISO.

Dodger hurlers are essentially unusable for the second day in a row in a matchup against the Orioles, as Rich Hill ($10,700) will take the mound for the first time since recovering from a knee injury he sustained in June. Hill threw just 30 pitches in his last simulated game prior to the start, making it highly unlikely he hangs around long enough to approach value at this price.

Patrick Corbin ($10,500) has been on a Verlander-like run of his own, having logged over 20 DraftKings points in eight of his last 10 outings. The Twins hold the second-highest wOBA in the league against southpaws, but Corbin is always worth a shot in GPPs thanks to the 29 percent strikeout rate he has logged in 29 starts.

The fact that we don't know exactly how long rookie Justin Dunn will be on the mound before turning things over to Tommy Milone ($7,400) makes it a bit difficult to use the 32-year-old, but the Reds struggle against lefties and on the road, which makes him an intriguing value play on a shorter slate.

Kolby Allard ($7,200) won't blow hitters away but features a solid combination of command and the ability to get groundballs. While the prospect of taking a young pitcher in Arlington will rightly make DFS players bristle, it should be noted that the Rays fall just outside the bottom-10 offenses against lefties according to wOBA and have hit the ball on the ground at a 45 percent clip.

Key Values

It's not often that I recommend paying up at catcher, but it's hard to overlook Will Smith ($4,800), who has logged a .429 ISO to go along with a .434 wOBA in 84 at-bats against same-handed pitchers. Meanwhile, Dylan Bundy has allowed 17 homers to righty hitters in just 74 innings.

Julio Teheran has thrown the ball well against both sides of the platoon this year but an xFIP over 6.00 against lefty bats makes him someone to be exploited when in a hitter's haven like Citizens Bank Park. Bryce Harper ($4,600) has cooled off a bit after his incredible month of August but still holds a .293 ISO in 181 at-bats after the All-Star break.

Cavan Biggio ($4,200) has faltered a bit after a strong start to his major league career but has still logged a .219 ISO against righty pitchers in 201 at-bats. He will face opener Jholys Chacin and fellow rookie Mike Shawaryn, who have logged a combined 5.86 ERA in 109 innings this year.

Prospective owners should keep their collective eye on Nick Solak ($4,100) for as long as he can be had for a reasonable price. This is particularly true against southpaws, against whom Solak has logged a .367 ISO and a .457 wOBA in 30 at-bats. The sample size may be small, but it's more than enough to take a shot against Brendan McKay, who has allowed a .553 slugging percentage to righty hitters in 30.1 frames.

Those who want to get sneaky could try to work in Mark Canha ($3,700) against Verlander. We mentioned Verlander's struggles with the long ball above, and Canha has kept a .240 ISO against righty pitching. The former Cy Young Award winner has put up huge scores in games where he has given up multiple homers, which could allow for owners to roster both Canha and Verlander in an attempt to save money on offense.

Stacks

Dodgers against Dylan Bundy (Orioles)

Will Smith (C -$4,800) Matt Beaty (1B/OF - $4,300) Corey Seager (SS -$4,500)

Beaty is a reasonably priced option that can help us capitalize on Bundy's reverse platoon split, while Seager has quietly posted a .228 ISO against righty pitchers in 285 at-bats.

Rangers against Brendan McKay (Rays)

Nick Solak (2B/3B - $4,100) Danny Santana (1B/OF - $4,700) Delino DeShields Jr. (OF - $3,700)

McKay dazzled the Blue Jays in his return to the big leagues last week, which could give this stack a bit of scarcity as he moves to a much less forgiving ballpark. DeShields may not be a star, but he has logged a respectable .189 ISO against lefty pitching this year.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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